Thursday, October 30, 2014

Brand New Autism Genes Discovered

 

                With advancements in technology, scientists find more and more interesting facts about our genetic make up each day. A recent article that came out grabbed my interest with their title, "Dozens of New Autism Genes Identified." As I read further into the article, I learned that the research showed very rare mutations in the genes that affect communication networks inside the brain. Most of the mutations that were indentified in the new studies are "afresh", meaning they do not show up in the unaffected parent's genomes, but are evident in a single sperm/egg cell right before the child's conception. It fascinates me that as the world advances, more and more about the human body and genetics are brought to the surface. Hopefully this continues, and sometime in the near future we will know a lot more about the mysterious and unsure questions that are still unknown to us.

Here is the article if you are interested and want to read more: http://www.biosciencetechnology.com/news/2014/10/dozens-new-autism-genes-identified

The Harsh Punishments of Television

             As much as we all love that one television show, do we really think about the causes of the television. Though the show may give a person a quick glimpse into an imaginative place, the future side effects are much worse. Studies show the more television teens watch the higher risk they are to become depressed results. These results were found at Harvard Medical school. In the process to find these results, scholars studied a sample of teens in the U.S. for a period of 7 years. The data for these 7 years showed 308 of the people showed the criteria for depression. It showed that these 308 people watched an average of 22 minutes more television than the non-depressed subjects. Researchers found each additional hour of television led to and 8 percent increase in depression risk. Do the happiest people watch the least amount of TV? According to a University of Maryland, study, yes indeed this is true. Now does watching that show seem like such a big thing? Well it should. I don't believe watching TV once in a while will hurt one's mental health, but i do believe watching television more than often could affect larger schemes in life. Monitor your television time and you should be set. There is a balance in everything.
To read more on the article check out the link below: http://www.naturalnews.com/025790_health_depression_television.html


What Are Cosmetics Made Of?

The old saying "ignorance is bliss" is definitely true in some cases, especially now when people don't have time to look at ingredients anymore.  Everyone is guilty of that once in awhile but it's disturbing what kind of things go into things such as cosmetics, fast food, etc.  People should start looking at what cosmetics are made of because the stuff is going on your face and in your hair.  Once I saw my hair products had animal placenta in it which is normal because it's healthy.  Someone can find things like this in articles if they don't want to take time out of their day to look at what they are actually using.  Different articles/websites will say different things but they all mostly have the same idea.  Animals body parts are very common (placenta, bone marrow, fish scales, ambergris, etc.).  Almost all the websites I have seen have said babies foreskin which helps new skin grow (great for wrinkles).  Urine has many uses like sun protection, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and absorbing sweat.  It also has many different vitamins like A, D, E, and K.  Some countries use coal or tar to get the black look of mascara but that is illegal here.  You could imagine it would cause eye damage if it got in the eyes.  People love using makeup, moisturizers, and hair products without knowing what goes in them or how they are made.  These things still work (whether they have gross ingredients or not) so why not find out and then decide to use it?  A lot of the comments on the websites say how gross it is and how they won't use it anymore like when in middle school everyone watches the movie about what really goes on in food processing places where they treat the animals cruely and everyone says they won't eat meat again, but who ate it again? Basically everyone which is the same idea with the cosmetics, just one goes on your face and one goes through your digestive system.

http://makeup.lovetoknow.com/How_Are_Cosmetics_Made
http://www.toptenz.net/products-in-cosmetics.php

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How Does Music Really Affect Us?


My last two blogs have been all about music. Music can affect any person in any different way possible. Life for me, listening to a song that's very soothing and calm makes me think harder and relax easier. Or maybe a song that's loud, fast paced, and invigorating gets my blood pumping and gets me exhilarated! But this can all be different for everyone. This chart below shows us what parts of the brain music affects.

brain-and-music
A study I also read from talked about some examples of what it does to us.

1. Happy/sad music affects how we see neutral faces:

We can usually pick if a piece of music is particularly happy or sad, but this isn’t just a subjective idea that comes from how it makes us feel. In fact, our brains actually respond differently to happy and sad music.
Even short pieces of happy or sad music can affect us. One study showed that after hearing a short piece of music, participants were more likely to interpret a neutral expression as happy or sad, to match the tone of the music they heard. This also happened with other facial expressions, but was most notable for those that were close to neutral.
Something else that’s really interesting about how our emotions are affected by music is that there are two kind of emotions related to music: perceived emotions and felt emotions.
This means that sometimes we can understand the emotions of a piece of music without actually feeling them, which explains why some of us find listening to sad music enjoyable, rather than depressing.
Unlike in real life situations, we don’t feel any real threat or danger when listening to music, so we can perceive the related emotions without truly feeling them—almost like vicarious emotions.
2. Ambient noise can improve creativity
We all like to pump up the tunes when we’re powering through our to-do lists, right? But when it comes to creative work, loud music may not be the best option.
It turns out that a moderate noise level is the sweet spot for creativity. Even more than low noise levels, ambient noise apparently gets our creative juices flowing, and doesn't put us off the way high levels of noise do.
The way this works is that moderate noise levels increase processing difficulty which promotes abstract processing, leading to higher creativity. In other words, when we struggle (just enough) to process things as we normally would, we resort to more creative approaches.
In high noise levels, however, our creative thinking is impaired because we’re overwhelmed and struggle to process information efficiently.
This is very similar to how temperature and lighting can affect our productivity, where paradoxically a slightly more crowded place can be beneficial.
3. Our music choices can predict our personality
Take this one with a grain of salt, because it’s only been tested on young adults (that I know of), but it’s still really interesting.
In a study of couples who spent time getting to know each other, looking at each other’s top ten favorite songs actually provided fairly reliable predictions as to the listener’s personality traits.
The study used five personality traits for the test: openness to experience,extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability.
Interestingly, some traits were more accurately predicted based on the person’s listening habits than others. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability were the easiest to guess correctly. Conscientiousness, on the other hand, wasn’t obvious based on musical taste.
To break it down, here is the connection they have found:
  • Blues fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease
  • Jazz fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing and at ease
  • Classical music fans have high self-esteem, are creative, introvert and at ease
  • Rap fans have high self-esteem and are outgoing
  • Opera fans have high self-esteem, are creative and gentle
  • Country and western fans are hardworking and outgoing
  • Reggae fans have high self-esteem, are creative, not hardworking, outgoing, gentle and at ease
  • Dance fans are creative and outgoing but not gentle
  • Indie fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard working, and not gentle
  • Bollywood fans are creative and outgoing
  • Rock/heavy metal fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at ease
  • Chart pop fans have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing and gentle, but are not creative and not at ease
  • Soul fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle, and at ease
Of course, generalizing based on this study is very hard. However looking at the science of introverts and extroverts, there is some clear overlap.
This study though only applied to a tested group of people. Everyone is different in their own way. Maybe some of these do apply to you but you yourself chooses what you like and want to listen too.

Three Ways Woodstock Festival Changed Our Culture

On August 15, 1969 nearly half a million people flocked near White Lake, New York for “three days of peace and music.” The Woodstock festival was heralded as one of the most pivotal turning points in culture. The festival was a huge concert event that featured some of the world’s top musicians. And the ways in which Woodstock changed culture forever show just how important the festival was to society.

The Draw of Music

The festival was first notable for first introducing the world to the power of the music festival. Assorted music events had taken place throughout the world but it wasn’t until Woodstock that people began to realize the power of music to bring people together. The excitement of seeing many bands in one spot was the biggest draw that made it all the more appealing. In fact, it even pushed the boundaries of attendance at a concert, garnering well beyond the fifty thousand people that the festival organizers originally expected to get out of it.
This helped make it a little easier for more music festivals to pop up. The Pinkpop festival started a year after Woodstock and several other festivals have shown up over the years. These include such internationally known festivals as Coachella, Bonnaroo, Big Day Out, the Reading Festival, Lollapalooza and All Tomorrow’s Parties.

The Unity of Music

The second impact came from how it introduced the concept of unity to people who loved music and peace. The country was heavily divided in 1969 with the ongoing issues over the war in Vietnam being prevalent in society. People who attended Woodstock came with the intention of being with each other and having a fun time.
This is especially impressive considering how varied the music was at the festival. People who were interested in the Who, Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead were clearly different from those who were interested in Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie and Country Joe McDonald. Still, nothing seemed to matter to anyone who was at the festival.

The Youth of Music

The third and most notable way how Woodstock changed culture is that it created a symbol for the youth of the time. The culture that came from this era is often known as the Woodstock generation. It’s a way of how the youth of society began to have a voice.
The impact of this voice on culture was important. It involved not only the desire to find peace and harmony in the world but also to question the role of authority in society. It made for a very interesting way to make it so society would be more accepting of modern youth. It helped to encourage more groups to consider the youth of society and might have even had an impact on what made the United States lower the national voting age to eighteen not too long after.

The ways in which the Woodstock festival impacted society are interesting, to say the least. The impact can be found in many forms today but the biggest impacts involve how the festival influenced society and how a generation has been defined. It is highly unlikely that such a massive cultural event like this could ever be expected again, let alone recreated.

Jim Morrison: His Most controversial moments

7 Most Controversial Jim Morrison Moments
For those of you who don't know who Jim Morrison is, he is the lead singer of the very popular and inspirational band from the 60's known as The Doors. But who is he really? Jim Morrison  poet, rock god, and one of music's most controversial stars  paved the path and set the bar high for future rock stars. Rock’s first bad boy was, once upon a time, a very reserved performer who sang with his back to the crowd. Throughout his career, Morrison has also done some extremely controversial actions through lyrics, interviews, and concerts. Some even to inappropriate to even mention now! One of these incidents included them performing on the Ed Sullivan Show. On September 17th, 1967, The Doors were invited to perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. Moments before they were to go live, Mr. Sullivan requested that Jim change the lyric in Light My Fire from "Girl we couldn’t get much higher" to “Girl we couldn’t get much better”. Jim agreed to the change however, when he performed the song on national TV, he either forgot out of nervousness or completely dismissed the request, and sang the song with its original lyric. The next six shows which had been planned for The Doors to perform were quickly cancelled by Sullivan.
Another controversial moment was Morrison's death. Jim Morrison’s death shocked the world. He was another one, much too young to leave the world. Morrison had once also said that he too would be a member of the infamous “27 Club”, whose members at that time included Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Brian Jones. Later Kurt Cobain would also join this club. At the time of his death, rumours circled that Morrison was not dead, that he had faked his own death to merely escape the world that he had grown tired of. His body was never seen, an autopsy was never performed, he was pronounced dead by a doctor in Paris who had written in the medical records that Morrison had died of heart failure, since there was no evidence of foul play. It was later revealed that Morrison had actually died of a heroin overdose – a rumored suicide – as Morrison was never a heroin user. He was found on the toilet seat in the Rock’n Roll Circus, where he had snorted heroin. Morrison’s friends had brought him back to the apartment and had placed him in a cold bath. This was a trick that was used to attempt to revive overdose victims. He was found here by his girlfriend and heir to his estate, Pamela Courson who herself died a few years later at the age of 27. 
Looking past these moments though, Morrison is a big inspiration to many Rock groups today. The Doors happen to be one of my favorite bands and recommend listening to them. Even if you don't like Rock music, you will like the Doors and Jim Morrison.






Obesity

Many people do not realize how much of an impact obesity has on America.  Obesity costs America on average $147 billion per year. There are many ways to prevent obesity.  Did you know Burt's of exercise that last five minutes or more  can help prevent childhood obesity.  If you show your children a healthy eating pattern when they are young they will grow up eating the right way and enjoying healthy food options over junk food.
Sports are good to keep yourself in good shape or just exercising on your own time.  If you stay active as a kid and carry it to adulthood you should help balance a healthy living.
College football players who gain weight to add power to their tackles and blocks could also be setting themselves up for diabetes and heart disease later in life.  Is it really worth the risk of hurting yourself in the long run?  There are healthier ways to become stronger such as working out.
Did you know that 80% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight?  Also overweight and obese people have an increased risk of heart does ease and  this can cause heart attacks, congestive heart failure, sudden cardiac death, angina, and abnormal heart rhythm.
If you start taking care of yourself when you are young you will have a lesser chance of these awful diseases.  If you are overweight don't think you can never get back on track.  There are many ways and resources to get fit.  Stay active for an hour a day,, go to the gym, play a sport, there is so much to do and many people willing to help you.   Start today to better your life and  your health.
http://obesityinamerica.org/understanding-obesity/obesity-related-diseases/


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Police

We were always trained by our families to trust the police because they are here to "help" us, but did you ever think about the fact that police officers are trained not to trust you? There are good and bad cops all over the world. There are good and bad people who hold any job title actually. Some cops use their job title as a way to abuse there privileges and power to think they are inferior to anyone below them, while others follow the rules and take advantage of the opportunity they have to help people and do some good in the world. I'm sure everyone has seen those cops of whom are on their cellphone while directing construction on local roads, or those cops who put their lights on and drive double the speed limit just to get to their lunch break. I mean cops speed when there isn't an emergency, use cellphones on the job, and are allowed to say whatever to whomever just because they're a cop, but yet if we do it one time consequences are endless. Many people find certain police to be hypocritical individuals who aren't fair to certain people in society. Now there are a select handful of cops in the world that have in the past been recognized for there doings and courageous acts. The cops of whom impact communities and the lives of their citizens are the ones that should be recognized. Maybe if we focused not so much on the negative things in the community there wouldn't be an issue with society and the select people that are supposed to protect it. This isn't all necessarily in our community but this has been in debate for years on end and nothing is being done to improve it. What are we as citizens going to do to strengthen our community so we don't have issues like this re-occurring not just locally, but globally?

Daylight Savings Time

Daylight savings time starts this Sunday November 2, 2014 at 2:00 a.m.
The are many pro's and con's with regards to daylight savings time.
The main pro would be that when you are required to get up in the morning (for students to go to school, or for adults to go to work, or those cute little senior citizens who get up at early hours of the day because they have nothing better to do) they can have sunlight. The main con would be that once the work day is over its almost time for the sun to set and the moon to look down on us as our only source of natural light before dinner time. One day it occurred to me that regardless of what time the sun rises and sets there are still 24 hours in each day. Is there a scientific reason why they have to set the clocks back? What did people do centuries ago when there was no such things as clocks?
Not everyone is too fond of the day we have to "Fall back instead of spring forward."

The 'Hanging' Gardens of Babylon

The original Seven Wonders of the World have became diluted with the many modern wonders of the world. There are so many spectacular sites and areas that it is hard to keep track of all of them. However, one of the original wonders was the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Martin Heemskerck's interpretation of the gardens

These gardens have not definitely been found in the modern world, rather the accounts survive in texts of history. These magnificent gardens were first described by a man named Berossus, a priest in the 4th century B.C.. In these texts, it is said that the gardens were built by king Nebuchadnezzar II who ruled Babylonia. His wife, Amytis, however, was from Media. She was not used to the flat, dry land of Mesopotamia and got very homesick. Nebuchadnezzar built the gardens to make her feel more at home and comfortable. To visit a site which talks more about this, go here


The architecture of the gardens is very interesting. Mesopotamia did not have much stone to use, and usually they used clay bricks for buildings. However, clay bricks would be very hard to build the garden's foundation because the water that would be needed to nourish the plants would ruin the mud bricks. So, the platforms were stone, which was very obscure in Babylonia. These stones were also covered with materials like tiles and lead. The Hanging Gardens were enormous in size also. Remains of the gardens have not been confirmed yet, but archaeologists are still searching. Many possibilities have been found. To read more about the architecture and excavations, go to this website. 

Although the gardens may never be discovered definitely, one can ponder on the accounts of it and gasp at the beauty it would have held. The descriptions of the gardens would make them one of the most elaborate gifts, and gardens in my opinion. Amytis must have been one lucky lady to have these gardens dedicated to her. 

What is time?

Okay, so everything we do involves time. It takes time to get over a bad cold, to learn how to ride a bike, to grow up. But what if time has nothing to do with our everyday lives and it is just a figment of our collective imaginations?
There has been much debate over whether humans created time to explain why things changed and things occurred. It was a way to keep everyday life organized. On the other hand there is the other side who believes that time is constant and it has been present since the birth of the universe. How could time not exist if it played a role in the way we were created?
Time is considered a 4th dimension, separate and extremely important to the way things are. Although time seems to change a lot. In space the passage of time is slower, and according to some scientists, the inside of a black hole has such a strong gravitational pull that not even light can escape, and time is slowed to a near stop.

Although time is a controversial subject, everyone can pretty much agree that it is precious and should not be wasted! Use it to do the things you love!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNLdblFQqsw

This is an interesting and entertaining video I would definitely reccommend! It can help us understand the flow of time better than we ever imagined so.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

What Society Has Come To

          Despite the fact that many people beg to differ, I am what one would call "normal" in a sense that I'm somewhat "average" as an American teen and when I'm scrolling down lists of articles in the news, one with the headline "Kissing Your Socks Goodbye" peaks my interest. As I started reading this article, I'm almost positive my jaw actually dropped. Would you like to know what we as a society, as a nation, as a world have become? Let me tell you! We are currently biting our fingernails for the release of the Japanese book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" by Marie Kondo in America. It has already become a best seller in Japan and comes out in the United States this month. So, what does it consist of that is so great? It tells you how to organize your room contents. No, I am not kidding. Great literature went from the undeniable talents of the great Shakespeare and Mark Twain to...how to clean a room?! I am quite frankly dumbfounded to be living in such a lazy, dependent society where no one can do anything on their own. We need someone to tell us how to roll up our socks and fold T-shirts into rectangles? Yes, evidently we do.

          I am by no means, though it my seem like it, degrading the author, but rather I am questioning the capabilities of modern man. Clearly her work is a success. I'm scared at the fact that it is such a success. There are values that have been lost in time. I challenge every reader right now to ask their grandparent or elder relative if they could ever get away with not cleaning their room. I bet they will say no, because they'd get the belt, or perhaps worse, no dinner that night. What do kids in today's age get as punishment? A second chance. A third chance. A fourth chance, then maybe they aren't allowed to go to the movies or out with friends until they clean up. Children aren't the only guilty ones, however. Adults procrastinate just as much. They'll leave the dishes in the sink or the dirty laundry scattered across the floor until the last minute. What I wonder is why we can't just pick things up as we go. If you put away each load of clean laundry as it comes, it'll never pile up. If you toss each article of clothing into the laundry as you take it off, it won't dress the floor. I suppose my main question here is, why aren't Americans more motivated? We need books to teach us how to clean? 
          May I remind all Americans and all citizens of fully developed nations that there are people in this world who wake up every day with the sole goal of surviving to live to tomorrow. Their concerns are not how to fold their socks and shirts, but rather where their next meal is coming from. They will trek all day to find water. They don't know what a phone is, or even how to read a book. They don't enjoy the luxury of a bedroom. I'm not reciting history, I'm talking about now. There are millions of people, from infants to the grandparents of grandparents, that live each day in survival mode. Survival mode to them is not, "I have to get ready with enough time to stop at Dunkin Donuts this morning," or even, "I hope I have enough gas to get home," but rather, "Will I get my hands on a morsel of food before I starve to death." 
          I'm sure you're saying to yourself right now something along the lines of, "How did you go from socks to starving children?" I was able to do so because the article stirred strong emotions in me, as to what we've become as a society. All I'd like to ask it that the next time you are feeling to lazy to put your piles of clean, folded, new clothes away in the luxury of a bureau or closet in the luxury of your own bedroom, consider the kids in Africa and the Middle East, and in fact in parts of the majority of countries on Earth who would do anything to have your lifestyle, or any life close to it.
If you really want to hear more about Kondo's unbelievable life changing methods of cleaning rooms, visit Kiss Your Socks Goodbye and for a video of her methods, watch How to Fold Long-Sleeved Shirts Using the KonMari Method.

Roger Williams Park Jack-o-lanterns

Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island holds an annual jack-o-lantern trail throughout the month of October.  Thousands of pumpkins are carved for the event and displayed on a trail that goes through the zoo.  When night falls, you can walk past the animal exhibits and see the many different themes that the pumpkins are based on.  There are your typical jack-o-lanterns that have goofy faces on them, but there are also plenty of expertly made ones that seem too amazing to be real.

My family and I went last year to this event and it was spectacular.  While the place is crowded, the large number of amazing pumpkins makes it worth your time.  The artists make any type of jack-o-lantern they want.  Last year, there were pumpkins made into a portrait of Martin Luther King Jr., Spider-man, scenes from the wild west.  The pumpkins look good in picture, but are infinitely better in person.  I recommend visiting Roger Williams Park Zoo this year if you have the chance.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Social Media Used to Recruit Home-Grown Terrorists

In Denver, Colorado, two teenagers have been used by Syrian terrorists to join them overseas. Two teenage sisters, aged 16 and 17, were baited to go overseas, promised homes, families and riches. High school classmates of the girls have said that they have been discussing their travelplans via Twitter. The girls were found in an airport in Germany and held for questioning. They do all have East African descent but none were from Syria. 
The evidence the US officials have right now, points that the girls were headed for Syria. They cannot prove, however, that they planned to partake in any terrorist-like events.
Things like this have been happening particularly in Mineappolis as well. Since 2007, 22 teenagers of Middle Eastern descent have gone overseas to join terrorist groups. 
I think this article is interesting because I don't understand how citizens of this country could possibly want to hurt it with another country. Maybe they are just confused teenagers. 
To read more go to: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/denver-teens-travel-stirs-terror-appeal-concerns/ar-BBaHF0d

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Goats Are Shrinking?



                   Goats have been one of the few animals that I have only seen a handful of times in person. And something about them has always made me question them. While doing some research online, I came across an article talking about goats shrinking due to a sudden change in climate. Apparently, Alpine goats now weigh around twenty-five percent less than animals that were the same age back in the 1980's. Durham University is blaming this on the changes in climate where the goats live. The researchers had studied the changes in temperature on the body of a mountain goat for the past thirty years. And it seemed to pay off, as they discovered that the goat weighed twenty-five percent less. My question is is it really the climate that is making the goats shrink, or something else, such as their diet or genetics or anything!


Here's a link to the article I used if you're interested in reading more. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2802123/goats-shrinking-climate-change-researchers-find.html

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mental Disorders

Do you lie a lot? Fight a lot? Steal things or have violent outbursts? Do you have a hard time relating to others and feeling any emotions? Do you cheat people for your own gain? These symptoms could be some of an antisocial personality disorder and or psychopathy/sociopathy. There are many personality disorders or mental disorders that we sometimes don't even understand fully.


There are ego - dystonic people who know that they have a mental problem and ego - syntonic people don't know they have a problem. Personality disorders can affect either of these people.Ten of these conditions are grouped into three categories. The first cluster is usually just odd behavior.The second group is characterized by dramatic and emotional social responses. The last group consists of anxiety and avoidance.
Doctors usually have such a hard time diagnosing just one personality problem because they tend to overlap. Therefore, many people are diagnosed with PDNOS(Personality disorder not otherwise specified).
People with an antisocial disorder usually end up in two areas; they either cannot keep a job, engage in criminal activities or violent activities, or they become con-artists who work their way up their jobs with lies and scamming. However, it is to be said that not all criminals are psychopaths.
For adults, there is not much treatment for antisocial disorders. Children can be worked with and their behavior can be corrected, however.
To learn more about these disorders, watch this video.

Soccer

Soccer is my passion, my favorite sport, and one of the best things I like to spend my time doing.  I have played soccer since I was about 5 years old and fell in love with the game.  I did dance and gymnastics when I was younger and loved It but it interfered with soccer so I stopped doing it.  Every time I get my foot on the ball it is an escape from the world, I feel like I am in my own little happy land.  My soccer team used to be really good when I played in a travel league, from when I was about 10 to 14 years old.  We made it too the  play offs every year and won quite a few championships and tournaments.  We were a force and many teams were afraid to play us.  Now I play for Wareham high school.  I love my team we are like one big dysfunctional family.  But, unfortunately we are not as good as my team used to be when I was younger, well that's what the score says anyways.  I have yet to win one game in my high school soccer career.  You would think wow your team must be awful, but truly we are not.  Sure we aren't the best but certainly not the worst.  The score of our games sometimes doesn't show that we out played the other team.  My Junior year season is coming to an end and we still are completely defeated.  Our last game is tomorrow against Middleboro so hopefully our results of the season will change.  I truly believe we can win this game if we set our minds to it.  We are a great team and deserve to win.  Hopefully we can do so while wearing pink instead of royal blue and white.  You may ask why we are wearing pink and this is because we are having our annual pink game in honor of breast cancer.  Our jerseys are pink and we raise money for breast cancer research on this amazing day.  We have a miracle minute and whatever money people give us we match the price and give back to a breast cancer foundation.  We have made a lot of money off of this in previous years and hope to do the same this year.  I can't wait to finally get the win we deserve tomorrow.  It will be worth the wait.

Me in a game verse Bourne.


My freshman years pink game.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Action Video Games

A new study shows that people who play action video games such as "Call of Duty" learn a new sensorimotor skill more quickly than non-gamers do.  

 

A University of Toronto study shows that gamers can learn a new sensorimotor skill such as riding a bike or typing faster than non-gamers can. The experiment was setup by having 18 gamers who played first person shooter video games, and 18 non-gamers who had little to no experience at video games, completing a simple movement of the computer mouse  task. The task probed sensorimotor control because participants had to coordinate their hand movements with their vision. As a result, the gamers completing the task more accurately overall than the non-gamers. The benefit of gaming, or playing action video games is having enhanced ability to learn new sensorimotor skills. Such skills are used quite frequently such as in manual remote surgery. This should encourage everyone to pick up some analog sticks and get moving in the gaming world. 

Learn more and click the link below! 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141017111127.htm 

An Attorney Appearing with a Baby

            For a while now, I knew what I wanted to be when I was older. I want to be a lawyer. This will be a huge task to go through with but I feel the rewards later on will outweigh the harsh tasks to overcome. As wanting to pursue in being a lawyer I find articles on it interesting. The one i found was very interesting. It was on a mother who had asked for six week maternal leave. During that maternal leave she had a hearing and the judge wouldn't give her a delay or rescheduled hearing. So this completely dedicated lawyer showed up to the court room with her child strapped to her chest. After of course she has talked to the infant's pediatrician about the child's safety in public. The ruthless judge already denying a delay, yelled repeatedly at the mother. The judge exaggerated the fact how unprofessional it was to have a child on her chest in the court room. To a point I agree with the judge, having an infant is unprofessional in a court room. However, I do feel the judge could have been more understanding and allowed a delay. This shows an extremely dedicated lawyer. That is something I want to endure in the work force.

The Craze Over Cheapest Airline Tickets

          So I'm sitting downstairs last night with my mom and company and we are trying to book flights to Florida during February vacation for two of my friends and I. Obviously, we don't care much about what airline we take or what time of day it is; we are looking for the cheapest flight. It makes sense to me that we aren't going to try to fly out Sunday late morning or even Sunday night because those flights cost more than say a Monday flight at 11 p.m. To be honest, I think flying in the middle of the night is cooler. It adds an element of excitement because it's not the norm, but I'm not like most people so to understand ticket pricing I have to try to put aside my quirks.
          After searching for quite awhile, none of the adults were coming up with any great deals, so one of them said, "I'm just going to wake up early Tuesday morning and book them then." I stared at her with a blank expression then glanced at my mom. My mom explained how flights are cheaper on Tuesdays. I didn't understand how this could be, and more importantly, how it was allowed. In fact, I didn't believe them until I did some research and found that it is indeed true!
          Tuesday is thought to be the best day to buy cheap airline tickets because airlines announce deals on Mondays, therefore by Tuesday, other airlines are trying to match or even better the deals. The airlines want to sell the tickets quickly to fill their flights for the next week early. This creates competition like you see on eBay with bidding wars: it just goes back and forth, but unlike eBay, the price goes down and down instead of up and up in bids. Some people recommend waiting until Wednesday early morning around 1 a.m. for the best deals.
          Other researchers suggest weekends are indeed the best time to buy cheap tickets because airlines are trying to entice the leisurely vacation goers. Business people will fly no matter what because they must be at their conference or meeting by a certain day and time, and often their company pays for it anyway. Vacationers however, search for the deals. Studies have shown that ticket prices on the weekends are about 5% cheaper than than tickets offered during the weekdays. I guess the rule of thumb would be to look on Mondays and Tuesdays but if you don't find anything, try a Saturday or Sunday.
          So what's the best day to fly? Research shows that the best day to fly is Tuesday. Fewer people travel on Tuesdays so the demand for Tuesday flights is down. When demand goes down, so does price, to intrigue more people to buy to make the demand go back up. With all these tricks, one might also wonder when to start looking for tickets. The answer is simple: as soon as you know you're going to be flying, look. The earlier the better, at least six weeks in advance will ensure you see the ticket prices before they start climbing as the time nears.
          Now I'm sure many people are reading this right now wondering, how I could even be considering flying when EBOLA is on planes. I'll be the first to say that it is a scary epidemic but it is also blown a little out of proportion due to its severity and ability to kill. Anyone who gets flu-like symptoms is going to rush for the hospital to get checked for it. Of course, the internet and newspapers are quick to pick up on the people being quarantined to get checked for it, but not as quick to release the results that they do not have Ebola. The result is a petrified, paranoid nation.
          Risk perception expert David Ropeik says, "They’re afraid not because of the official actions, but because media coverage of the measures is overdoing it." Media plays a huge role in the feelings and perceptions of the people of our nation. A local doctor on Channel 7 said he is more afraid of driving on 195 around Boston than of the Ebola epidemic. He's clearly trying to keep things in perspective. We must be cautious and safe but we cannot stop living our lives because of this threat. Threats like this come up every so often, just like polio epidemic in the 1950s. The world didn't end then. We have to keep things in perspective.

Visit Cheap Airline Ticket Tips for more information about the tips and tricks of airline ticket pricing.
Visit Ebola Reality Check for what experts have to say on the fear factor of Ebola.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fan Fun in Florida

We all know that there are approximately ten active politicians that are not completely intolerable or nonsensical, if even that.  A couple of politicians that fall under the category of "nonsensical" were the debaters of the recent gubernatorial debate in Florida.  What happened was candidate Charlie Crist demanded a that a fan be placed under his podium while he was debating against  Republican candidate Rick Scott.  The debate was delayed, with Scott refusing to come on stage if the fan remained under the podium.  While this may seem to be a ludicrous reason not to debate, (because it is) Scott stated that the rules of the debate stated that no electrical devices may be on stage during the debate, a rule that is indeed true and was broken by Crist.

Both politicians here were at fault of being, as my grandfather would say, stupid.  Crist did not follow a simple rule, even after being asked to remove the fan.  Scott whined about a meaningless technicality, trying to take advantage of the situation.  The candidates would have appeared much more likable and worthy of the people's votes if the whole situation was avoided, instead of stubborn and conniving, respectively, two traits that any of the ten tolerable politicians today do not and should not have.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How Much Privacy Do We Really Have?

Living in the 21st Century, we are consumed with technology. Our lives lie in the messages on our phones, our email accounts, along with our Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. But how much privacy do we really have?
Many novels have pondered what it would be like with no privacy from the government. Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" and George Orwell's "1984" are just some of the many. The Fourth Amendment says, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.” Of course, we must remember that this was before the era of Mac Books and IPads.
Everything we do on the Internet is watched. Every ad you click on "just looking" with effect your search engine later on. On the contrary, search engines use what you search to create personalized ads. Some say this could be good, you're only looking at what might interest you, but there's a whole other side to it. The fact is, they're watching you.
Since the September 11th attacks, security has been on high alert. While we are staying safe, who is to say when it is too much, too large invasion of our privacy?
Most people don't understand or know that their cell IPhone is tracking everywhere they go and storing it under their settings. The NSA also has access to this information, and can track your cell phone even if it's turned off. Car GPS systems also constantly track location. Your webcam can record you without even being on. Scary, isn't it?
So what we can do as a society is stop putting our information out there. Try a different search engine next time, who won't track you. Install a security program on your computer. Cover your webcam.

For more information, go to http://www.buffalonews.com/opinion/viewpoints/the-end-of-privacy-government-and-private-surveillance-pose-a-growing-threat-to-americans-20140510

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

McKamey Mannor, San Diego, CA

     McKamey Manor is San Diego's most extreme haunted house. It's an interactive "horror movie" type attraction. To enter, you must be over 21 years of age, in perfect health, and no chronic or psychological illnesses such as asthma or claustrophobia. Customers can only enter by reservation, and currently, the walk through horror show has a waiting list of over 10,000 people, as they take one to two parties on Fridays and Saturdays only, throughout the year. People that participate are not allowed to quit and there is no safe word for those that cannot handle it. The only way to cease the actions of the creatures involved is a life threatening medical emergency. The cost of admission is four cans or one bag of dog food which is given as a donation.
     During the event, actors are to scare customers as breathless as they can, while also being able to make them go through different environments as well as place their bodies into contraptions such as a metal cage with snakes inside. Customers are also brutally spit on with fake blood and gruesome items are placed into their mouths for them to consume. Each party walking through the house is filmed for experience for the whole 4-7 hours the walkthrough takes place. The duration of the show depends on how well participants deal with fear. This extreme haunted house has been a tourist attraction for many years in San Diego and used only for the thrill of each person going through.
     I would never want to experience McKamey Manor, and anyone that would; I think they have some issues.


http://www.mckameymanor.com/#!

Teens and Stress


I was wondering about teens, how much stress they deal with, from what areas of life it comes from, and how they deal with it. Personally, the thing that stresses me out the most is school. I constantly have homework, studying to do for tests and quizzes, and numerous projects and essays. The thing that stresses me out the most is how these assignments will affect my grades, and therefore affect my future. I looked up information on this topic, and found an article on usatoday.com by Sharon Jayson, titled "Teens feeling stressed, and many not managing it well." Below are some of the charts and statistics that accompanied the article. In the article, it states that a national survey suggests that most teens say that they are more stressed throughout the school year. Stress of course doesn't only come from school, it also comes from friends, family, work, and life in general. It also states that teens say they associate unusual behavior with the stress they deal with. Professionals say that having these high levels of stress can set teens up from a really bad future, one filled with depression and "chronic stress". All of the early life stress can lead to lifetime problems, and it's not a healthy thing. The article also discussed things that teens do to help cope with this stress, such as play sports or go on the internet. Stress is a negative part of teens lives, and it can set them up for a lifetime of problems.


Link to the article: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/11/stress-teens-psychological/5266739/

Scott Disick Banned From Being Around Baby North West

According to Reality TV Magazine, Kanye West has been observing the way Scott Disick treats Kourtney Kardashian, and is not supporting it. West became paranoid about Disick being around the girls- especially his- and has prohibited him from seeing his daughter. A source told the site, "Kanye already told Kim Kardashian not to have Scott around North because there's no telling whether he's going to be partying or what might come out of his mouth. Kanye has told everyone in the family that too, even Kris Jenner, because he'll be damned if Nori is going to see a grown man, especially one in her family, acting a fool."
I feel that this article is very like Kanye West to do. He seems like a very controlling father and husband, but I don't blame him for banning Scott from his own, and his daughter's life. In the past, Scott has been an alcoholic partier with no filter for his mouth or his actions. He's an unfit parent when he acts this way and it's also a very unsafe situation for a child to be in. Kanye West has a right to have a say in whether a dangerous man with a past should be involved in his daughter's life or not, even if he is family.

http://realitytvmagazine.sheknows.com/2014/10/15/scott-disick-banned-from-being-around-north-west/

Fox News Host Makes Biased Comment Targeting Democratic Party

     This article is about FoxNews host Stacey Dash commenting about the wrongs (in her opinion) of the Democratic Party. She was asked if voting for Barack Obama and the Democrats would benefit the minority community. Without thinking, she answered no, but adding the clear point that they market themselves to earn free money and are uneducated. The host during the show with her, Sean Hannity, attempted to clarify her remark and make it sound less offensive, but Fox News has noted that this was not the first offensive reply she has made in her six months of working with them. Earlier in the week, she said America should build "Ebola quarantine centers" to hold patients that have symptoms of Ebola.
     I feel that this host is pushing her limits. The opinion based rude commentary she's making should be addressed. People are offended by her views and as a news host, Dash should be one to filter her responses to make them equal and not at all offensive to either side of the parties. Fox News should look into the people they hire more deeply and really observe the personalities they have. By doing this, the show would improve in viewers and ratings, since the host's responses aren't biased and rude.

http://www.examiner.com/article/fox-news-host-makes-extremely-racist-comment-about-the-democratic-party

Blizzard Kills At Least 20 People

     I read an article on the storms and extreme weather of the Himalayas. The aftermath of a cyclone on India's eastern coast in the days prior left 200 trekkers caught in the mountains. The army rescued 22 people and recovered 12 bodies of those caught in the weather.
     This article is alarming for different reasons. Though Massachusetts doesn't have to worry about it, it's devastating to hear that people are being killed from weather conditions. Current events that include death and entrapment of people is horrifying. It gives all readers a sense of remorse for the families and people affected by this. Those in the surrounding areas will fear their home being hit by the conditions. This also affects travel and tourism in these regions, since the weather is so extreme. People won't want to travel even remotely near there and I don't blame them. It's a dangerous situation and I feel that people should stay away from these areas.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/16/world/asia/himalayas-blizzard-and-avalanche-kill-at-least-20-and-leave-dozens-missing.html?_r=0

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Stay Alert - Enterovirus D68

Ebola has taken the main stage for the time being, but another illness has wreaked havoc and it is important that we pay attention to it as well, this illness is known as Enterovirus D68.

Most commonly affecting infants, children, and teenagers this virus is that can cause mild to severe symptoms that cannot be traditionally treated. There have been deaths in young children who have contracted the illness and EV D68 has caused respiratory sickness that has led to death and paralysis in some cases.
As of October 14, there have been 691 people in the U.S. and District Columbia who have respiratory illnesses caused by EV D68.

Contracting the illness isn't difficult, someone would only have to come in contact with an infected persons saliva, mucous or other respiratory secretions. People with respiratory problems such asthma are at higher risk for contracting severe symptoms in this case.
As much as we should be keeping tabs on the ebola outbreak, we should also be wary of the EV D68, and the impact it can have on you.


Here is an article with everything you need to know about enterovirus d68

http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/ev-d68.html